(printed with kind permission of The Raphi website)
Friday, August 19, 2005
On Friday, August 19, thousands of Jews from the New York area will embark on the annual pilgrimage to the Sullivan County Catskills for the Shabbos Nachamu weekend.
They will be staying in locations that are eerily reminiscent of the Gush Katif communities. The bungalow colonies typically have 50 to 100 families in small cottages with surrounding manicured lawns. Each has a small synagogue on the premises. Some are located near small farms. The hotels are usually larger, hosting about 200 families, with more amenities.
Now imagine you are sitting in a lounge chair by the swimming pool, enjoying the company of your friends and relatives, when you are approached by a contingency of soldiers and police from the NY State National Guard and the NY State Troopers. Very politely, they tell you, “You are going to have to leave these premises, never to return.”
“But why?” you ask, “I’ve been coming here every year for the last 30 years. My whole family comes here every year.”
The State Trooper explains, “There’s a group of Arab Muslims living in UNRWA camps in Lebanon and Syria that claim this land as their own. So you’ll have to vacate the area so that they can move here.”
“But there’s plenty of empty land in the Sullivan County Catskills,” you retort, “Why can’t they live there? There’s plenty of room for both of us.”
The State Trooper insists, “They want this particular 100 sq. km and if they don’t get it they’ll get violent.”
So you ask naively, “Aren’t you here to protect us?”
“I’m sorry, replies the polite State Trooper, “the Governor cut our budget and we just don’t have the manpower to protect you. Besides that, the Governor and the President want you to leave also.”
“But I thought that the Governor and President were our friends.”
“Friendship doesn’t count when there are a billion Muslims which control the world’s oil supply and will get violent if they don’t get their way. I’m sorry, you’re just going to have to pack up and leave. We’ll find you another hotel in the Poconos, the topography and climate there is very similar.”
It’s all water under the bridge now. Gush Katif is no more and will soon be taken over by Arabs living in UNRWA camps. Where do we go from here? Will the Jewish people be able to rise up again from the depths of depravity, immorality, weakness, and divisiveness that we sunk to? Only time will tell.
Around the time of the 1967 Six-Day War, there was an internationally popular song titled, “What Now My Love?” It was translated into several languages from the original French and recorded by many artists. In Israel, it was called Uma Achshav, and recorded by Geula Gil. The lyrics are especially poignant to the current situation.
What Now My Love Music: Gilbert Becaud French Lyrics: Pierre Delanoe / English lyrics: Carl Sigman
Artist: Agnetha Faltskog
What now my love, now that you've left me
How can I live through another day
Watching my dreams turn to ashes
And my hopes turn to bits of clay
Once I could see, once I could feel
Now I am numb, I've become unreal
I walk the night, without a goal
Stripped of my heart and my soul
What now my love, now that it's over
I feel the world falling all around me
Here come the stars, tumbling around me
There's the sky, where that sea should be
What now my love, now that you're gone
I'd be a fool to go on and on
No one would care, no one would cry
If I should live if I should live or die
What now my love, now there is nothing
Only my last, my last good-bye
***** Israel Zwick, special to TheRaphi.com, holds advanced degrees in biology and psychology but often writes on topics of Jewish interest. Though he lives in New York, he has children and grandchildren in Israel.